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HP Offers New Energy-Efficient Ethernet Switches

Energy-efficient Ethernet switch modules from HP help cut power use and TCO

HP today announced the availability of new energy-efficient Ethernet switches, designed to help companies deal with the data explosion, while, at the same time, cutting power needs and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) by some 51 percent.

The company says that it's E-Series zl modules are the first devices that conform to the IEEE Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) standard 802.3az. The switches reduce power consumption by automatically entering sleep mode when no traffic is being transmitted. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Many companies today are caught between competing pressures brought by data and power. Faced with moving ever increasing data faster and faster, they find the power to do that, as well as deal with the associated cooling, expensive and increasingly unavailable.

Sleep mode

The modules, which fit into existing switches, address this by going into sleep mode, as will EEE-connected devices in the absence of traffic. Because most network traffic comes in bursts, these devices are good candidates for energy efficiency.

The modules also address another concern, which is latency in the network. According to Jay Mellman, Director of Network Product and Solutions Marketing, the modules function with an instant-on capability and will wake up immediately upon detecting traffic, eliminating latency.

In a study conducted by the Tolly Group, power and cooling savings from the energy-efficient modules ranged from 17 to 26 percent, when compared to traditional switches. The lower operating costs, combined with lower acquisition costs resulted in a decrease of up to 51 percent in TCO.

HP assisted in developing the EEE standard and the company plans to incorporate it across multiple devices. including servers, laptops, and wireless devices.

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